Discussion:
Beethoven's late string quartets?
Add Reply
Dennis
2011-02-11 12:31:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen, Tokyo, Budapest
(2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer, Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig,
Smetana, other Quartet?

Longer list:

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_String_Quartets_(Beethoven)>

Dennis
wkasimer
2011-02-11 16:08:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen, Tokyo, Budapest
(2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer, Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig,
Smetana, other Quartet?
Off the top of my head, the Hagen and Smetana (1960's) quartets. And
I love what I've been able to find of the first Juilliard recordings
on RCA.

Bill
mandryka
2011-02-11 16:23:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen, Tokyo, Budapest
(2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer, Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig,
Smetana, other Quartet?
Off the top of my head, the Hagen and Smetana (1960's) quartets.  And
I love what I've been able to find of the first Juilliard recordings
on RCA.
Bill
Yes -- Hagen are very interesting for Op 130/133 and Op 136, and
probably my favourite for Op 136, despite their seriousness.
John Wiser
2011-02-11 17:24:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
[mucho snippage]>
Post by mandryka
Yes -- Hagen are very interesting for Op 130/133 and Op 136,
and probably my favourite for Op 136, despite their seriousness.
O I am so out of it
never a clue to a quartettfassung of
Der glorreiche Augenblick

Seriously, you lot are putting the arm on me to
investigate the Hagens. I'm all for the Smetanas
(Denon) but even more for the Beethoven Quartets
in their Supraphon 50th Anniversary issue. Other
than those, the issue becomes historical...

JDW
mandryka
2011-02-11 17:33:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John Wiser
[mucho snippage]>
Post by mandryka
Yes -- Hagen are very interesting for Op 130/133 and Op 136,
and probably my favourite for Op 136, despite their seriousness.
O I am so out of it
never a clue to a quartettfassung of
Der glorreiche Augenblick
Seriously, you lot are putting the arm on me to
investigate the Hagens.
JDW
Ha!

There are two Hagen Op 136s -- one on DVD and one on CD. I only have
the CD -- am I missing out on something interestingly different?
John Wiser
2011-02-11 17:56:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John Wiser
[mucho snippage]>
Post by mandryka
Yes -- Hagen are very interesting for Op 130/133 and Op 136,
and probably my favourite for Op 136, despite their seriousness.
O I am so out of it
never a clue to a quartettfassung of
Der glorreiche Augenblick
Post by mandryka
Seriously, you lot are putting the arm on me to
investigate the Hagens.
Ha!
There are two Hagen Op 136s --
one on DVD and one on CD. I only have
the CD -- am I missing out on something interestingly different?
My stars! you're very hard to push off base. Review those three
little digits for just a moment please...136? Nuh-uh. It has to be
plain old 135, but I can't josh you into it, you've got to believe.
136 is a rather flyblown celebratory cantata for the Congress of Vienna in
1814. You wouldn't like it, I suspect.

JDW
mandryka
2011-02-11 18:05:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John Wiser
Post by John Wiser
[mucho snippage]>
Post by mandryka
Yes -- Hagen are very interesting for Op 130/133 and Op 136,
and probably my favourite for Op 136, despite their seriousness.
O I am so out of it
never a clue to a quartettfassung of
Der glorreiche Augenblick
Post by mandryka
Seriously, you lot are putting the arm on me to
investigate the Hagens.
Ha!
There are two Hagen Op 136s --
one on DVD and one on CD. I only have
the CD -- am I missing out on something interestingly different?
My stars! you're very hard to push off base. Review those three
little digits for just a moment please...136? Nuh-uh.  It has to be
plain old 135, but I can't josh you into it, you've got to believe.
136 is a rather flyblown celebratory cantata for the Congress of Vienna in
1814. You wouldn't like it, I suspect.
JDW
Ah
Lena
2011-02-12 08:09:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John Wiser
Post by John Wiser
[mucho snippage]>
Post by mandryka
Yes -- Hagen are very interesting for Op 130/133 and Op 136,
and probably my favourite for Op 136, despite their seriousness.
O I am so out of it
never a clue to a quartettfassung of
Der glorreiche Augenblick
Post by mandryka
Seriously, you lot are putting the arm on me to
investigate the Hagens.
Ha!
There are two Hagen Op 136s --
one on DVD and one on CD. I only have
the CD -- am I missing out on something interestingly different?
My stars! you're very hard to push off base. Review those three
little digits for just a moment please...136? Nuh-uh.  It has to be
plain old 135, but I can't josh you into it, you've got to believe.
136 is a rather flyblown celebratory cantata for the Congress of Vienna in
1814. You wouldn't like it, I suspect.
I'll also state my mild opposition to this whole idea of using lots of
singers in string quartets (even in string quartets of a more
mercantile variety, like this one).

Lena
Matthew B. Tepper
2011-02-12 18:21:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Lena <***@gmail.com> appears to have caused the following letters to
be typed in news:10c6be26-a3b7-4dc5-8f93-
Post by Lena
googlegroups.com...
Post by John Wiser
[mucho snippage]>
Post by mandryka
Yes -- Hagen are very interesting for Op 130/133 and Op 136,
and probably my favourite for Op 136, despite their seriousness.
O I am so out of it
never a clue to a quartettfassung of
Der glorreiche Augenblick
Post by mandryka
Seriously, you lot are putting the arm on me to
investigate the Hagens.
Ha!
There are two Hagen Op 136s --
one on DVD and one on CD. I only have
the CD -- am I missing out on something interestingly different?
My stars! you're very hard to push off base. Review those three little
digits for just a moment please...136? Nuh-uh.  It has to be plain old
135, but I can't josh you into it, you've got to believe. 136 is a
rather flyblown celebratory cantata for the Congress of Vienna in
1814. You wouldn't like it, I suspect.
I'll also state my mild opposition to this whole idea of using lots of
singers in string quartets (even in string quartets of a more mercantile
variety, like this one).
Don't tell that to Schoenberg! However, the unfortunate tendency in music
e-sales (as indicated by Apple, anyway) is toward a future when all string
quartet recordings consist of "songs."
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
Read about "Proty" here: http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/proty.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
g***@gmail.com
2015-10-22 01:18:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by wkasimer
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen, Tokyo, Budapest
(2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer, Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig,
Smetana, other Quartet?
Off the top of my head, the Hagen and Smetana (1960's) quartets. And
I love what I've been able to find of the first Juilliard recordings
on RCA.
Bill
"My Favorite Recordings of Beethoven's Late String Quartets":

http://www.amazon.com/lm/R1D2W42RJOXR0L
g***@gmail.com
2019-09-05 07:25:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by wkasimer
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen, Tokyo, Budapest
(2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer, Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig,
Smetana, other Quartet?
Off the top of my head, the Hagen and Smetana (1960's) quartets. And
I love what I've been able to find of the first Juilliard recordings
on RCA.
Bill
According to this:

- ...The youthful humour [of the early string quartets] has completely vanished; the occasional signs of optimism quickly die out moments after they appear and the movements sometimes end in uncomfortably inconclusive cadences.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2005/jun/07/classicalmusicandopera.television
Dufus
2011-02-11 18:16:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
Gerard
2011-02-11 18:25:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
Thanks.
Are these still available?
jrsnfld
2011-02-11 18:41:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
Thanks.
Are these still available?
The later recording is definitely easy to find. The earlier recording
not so, but I see a couple used LP copies on Amazon. I've been wanting
to get that, but I'm too lazy to order it online.

--Jeff
jrsnfld
2011-02-11 18:40:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
The RCA recording or the Telarc recording?

--Jeff
Dufus
2011-02-12 05:03:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by jrsnfld
The RCA recording or the Telarc recording?
Since I am of the Stoned Age, my recording of the Cleveland in these
works is the 4 - lp RCA box ARL4-4509 , with Op.127 on plus the Grosse
Fugue.

For Gerard, I unfortunately do not know whether these lp's made it to
cd, or if the Telarc is a later performance. My lp's copyright is
1983, whatever that may mean. I defer to all the greater knowledge
here as I have but the one set of the Late Quartets. All the challenge
I could handle I guess. I do think we discussed here a solo piano
version (?) of the Grosse Fugue, but my advancing dementia obscures.
jrsnfld
2011-02-12 05:55:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dufus
Post by jrsnfld
The RCA recording or the Telarc recording?
Since I am of the Stoned Age, my recording of the Cleveland in these
works is the 4 - lp RCA box ARL4-4509 , with Op.127 on plus the Grosse
Fugue.
Judging from some of the comments about the Telarc, you may have the
better of the two sets.
--Jeff
Lena
2011-02-20 13:42:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by jrsnfld
Post by Dufus
Post by jrsnfld
The RCA recording or the Telarc recording?
Since I am of the Stoned Age, my recording of the Cleveland in these
works is the 4 - lp RCA box ARL4-4509 , with Op.127 on plus the Grosse
Fugue.
Judging from some of the comments about the Telarc, you may have the
better of the two sets.
--Jeff
The Cleveland Beethoven on Telarc is fine, IMO; not terribly colorful
or
spectacular, but has virtues. Some of which aren't terribly common.
It's a pretty solid set, IMO, though presumably not to everyone's
liking. (Simon probably hates them. :) )

I don't know the RCA Beethoven recordings; that quartet was
differently constituted from either the earliest Cleveland or the late
Cleveland of the Telarc.

(I recently happened to hear one movement by the very earliest version
of the Cleveland Qt. -- and ehm, the less said the better. :) )

Lena
(not feeling up to big-time descriptions around this subject,
either...)
Dufus
2011-02-20 13:54:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lena
I don't know the RCA Beethoven recordings; that quartet was
differently constituted from either the earliest Cleveland or the late
Cleveland of the Telarc.
The RCA box I mentioned was the grouping of Donald Weilerstein,Peter
Salaft,Martha Katz, Paul Katz.

The young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein ins apparently not
related to Donald : http://www.alisaweilerstein.com/biography.php
Lena
2011-02-20 14:08:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lena
I don't know the RCA Beethoven recordings; that quartet was
differently constituted from either the earliest Cleveland or the late
Cleveland of the Telarc.
The RCA box  I mentioned was the grouping of Donald Weilerstein,Peter
Salaft,Martha Katz, Paul Katz.
The young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein ins apparently not
related to Donald :http://www.alisaweilerstein.com/biography.php
OK, many thanks.

(I may be wrong about the timings of the personnel changes vis a vis
the RCA set, btw -- I haven't really excavated around this quartet,
beyond the later Telarc Beethoven recordings. Since there are people
here who are much more expert at different quartet formations, I'll
leave this to them. But one thing I do know is that the RCA personnel
is not the same as the guys on the later set...)

Lena
operafan
2011-02-23 15:27:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dufus
The young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein ins apparently not
related to Donald :http://www.alisaweilerstein.com/biography.php
She's his daughter.
John Wiser
2011-02-20 14:09:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by jrsnfld
Post by Dufus
Post by jrsnfld
The RCA recording or the Telarc recording?
Since I am of the Stoned Age, my recording of the Cleveland in these
works is the 4 - lp RCA box ARL4-4509 , with Op.127 on plus the Grosse
Fugue.
Judging from some of the comments about the Telarc, you may have the
better of the two sets.
--Jeff
The Cleveland Beethoven on Telarc is fine, IMO; not terribly colorful
or spectacular, but has virtues. Some of which aren't terribly common.
It's a pretty solid set, IMO, though presumably not to everyone's
liking. (Simon probably hates them. :) )
Simon's taste is by no means simon-pure. He likes performances I find
overdetailed and fussily colored. The Telarc Cleveland's Beethoven playing,
in which William Preucil replaced first violinist Donald Weilerstein, was
exceptionally plain-spoken, strongly oriented to line, intonationally pure.
Absolute keepers.
Post by jrsnfld
I don't know the RCA Beethoven recordings; that quartet was
differently constituted from either the earliest Cleveland or the late
Cleveland of the Telarc.
(I recently happened to hear one movement by the very earliest version
of the Cleveland Qt. -- and ehm, the less said the better. :) )
Post by jrsnfld
Bah! I have been headed off at the pass. In a word: appalling.
JDW
Lena
2011-02-20 14:16:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John Wiser
Post by jrsnfld
Post by Dufus
Post by jrsnfld
The RCA recording or the Telarc recording?
Since I am of the Stoned Age, my recording of the Cleveland in these
works is the 4 - lp RCA box ARL4-4509 , with Op.127 on plus the Grosse
Fugue.
Judging from some of the comments about the Telarc, you may have the
better of the two sets.
--Jeff
The Cleveland Beethoven on Telarc is fine, IMO; not terribly colorful
or spectacular, but has virtues. Some of which aren't terribly common.
It's a pretty solid set, IMO, though presumably not to everyone's
liking.  (Simon probably hates them. :) )
Simon's taste is by no means simon-pure. He likes performances I find
overdetailed and fussily colored. The Telarc Cleveland's Beethoven playing,
in which William Preucil replaced first violinist Donald Weilerstein, was
exceptionally plain-spoken, strongly oriented to line, intonationally pure.
Absolute keepers.
I agree.... fwiw.

I like that characterization about 'line'. It's interesting that they
manage quite decent balances, in addition -- though the friction-
between-voices effects that a few quartets do seem subordinated to the
cause of overall progress... (Or something like that. ;) That sounds
like a bureaucrat of string quartets speaking.)
Post by John Wiser
Post by jrsnfld
I don't know the RCA Beethoven recordings; that quartet was
differently constituted from either the earliest Cleveland or the late
Cleveland of the Telarc.
(I recently happened to hear one movement by the very earliest version
of the Cleveland Qt. -- and ehm, the less said the better. :) )
Post by jrsnfld
Bah! I have been headed off at the pass. In a word: appalling.
(laugh)

Lena
Steve Emerson
2011-02-21 19:51:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by John Wiser
Post by jrsnfld
Post by Dufus
Post by jrsnfld
The RCA recording or the Telarc recording?
Since I am of the Stoned Age, my recording of the Cleveland in these
works is the 4 - lp RCA box ARL4-4509 , with Op.127 on plus the Grosse
Fugue.
Judging from some of the comments about the Telarc, you may have the
better of the two sets.
--Jeff
The Cleveland Beethoven on Telarc is fine, IMO; not terribly colorful
or spectacular, but has virtues. Some of which aren't terribly common.
It's a pretty solid set, IMO, though presumably not to everyone's
liking. (Simon probably hates them. :) )
Simon's taste is by no means simon-pure. He likes performances I find
overdetailed and fussily colored. The Telarc Cleveland's Beethoven playing,
in which William Preucil replaced first violinist Donald Weilerstein, was
exceptionally plain-spoken, strongly oriented to line, intonationally pure.
Absolute keepers.
Any particular high points? How's the Op 130?

Thx,
SE.
Kevin N
2011-02-11 19:40:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
The RCA or Telarc series? AFAIK, the Telarc is still available. I only
have their Telarc Middle Quartets, and enjoy their full sound and
aggressive bowing, but they tend to lose their sense of rhythm in a
lot of places.
El Klauso
2011-02-11 20:00:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I probably listen to Quartetto Italiano cycle most often, but I also
find myself listening to the quartets done by the Busch Quartet, plus
the Hungarian Quartet mono cycle, and every so often I'll listen to
some of the Budapest's 78's. I also take the shellac Lener's off the
shelf every so often.
Bob Harper
2011-02-12 00:38:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Not yet mentioned, but special to meare the Lindsay Quartet's *first*
recordings, originally on ASV, now an inexpensive set on Resonance:

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//CDRSB801.htm

Not the last word technically, but an intensity in such moments as the
slow movement of 132 that I would not be without.

Bob Harper
Sol L. Siegel
2011-02-12 04:26:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Bob Harper <***@comcast.net> wrote in news:FEk5p.198404$Mg5.23725
@en-nntp-06.dc1.easynews.com:

The Yales, available cheaply in my youth, were imprints,
but I find that they've held up well.

I also listen to the Hollywoods, and a sort of jury-rigged
Budapest set. This latter consists of the Masterworks
Heritage set of 1940s Opp. 127, 131, 132 and 135, the
Biddulph reissue of the 1935 Op. 130, and the stereo
Grosse Fuge on Masterworks Portrait.

I might be in the market for more later, but I don't
want to add much to my collection before I've made my
projected move this spring and installed some new
shelving.

- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
Matthew B. Tepper
2011-02-12 18:21:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
The Yales, available cheaply in my youth, were imprints, but I find that
they've held up well.
I also listen to the Hollywoods, and a sort of jury-rigged Budapest set.
This latter consists of the Masterworks Heritage set of 1940s Opp. 127,
131, 132 and 135, the Biddulph reissue of the 1935 Op. 130, and the
stereo Grosse Fuge on Masterworks Portrait.
I might be in the market for more later, but I don't want to add much to
my collection before I've made my projected move this spring and
installed some new shelving.
- Sol L. Siegel, Philadelphia, PA USA
Good luck with that shelving!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
Read about "Proty" here: http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/proty.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
jrsnfld
2011-02-12 05:57:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Not yet mentioned, but special to meare the Lindsay Quartet's *first*
http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//CDRSB801.htm
Not the last word technically, but an intensity in such moments as the
slow movement of 132 that I would not be without.
Bob Harper
Yes..opinion on the Lindsays seems divided by those who are sensitive
to intonation problems and those who are not (among other things).
Perhaps they're for the rough and ready, but I think they were
temperamentally a good fit for Beethoven, even if they did
occasionally have trouble with, um, temperament. (My ears,
fortunately, are not real sensitive, and at least one musician friend
of mine likes them as much as I do. But I don't recommend them over
the more polished groups out there.)

--Jeff
John Hood
2011-02-12 04:34:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
A man after my own heart. I prefer the Quartetto Italiano, but you should
always have more than one version. I have the Tokyo on RCA, the Hungarian
Mono and a couple of others. One quartet cannot do them all justice.

JH
Post by El Klauso
I probably listen to Quartetto Italiano cycle most often, but I also
find myself listening to the quartets done by the Busch Quartet, plus
the Hungarian Quartet mono cycle, and every so often I'll listen to
some of the Budapest's 78's. I also take the shellac Lener's off the
shelf every so often.
Lena
2011-02-12 08:15:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevin N
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
The RCA or Telarc series? AFAIK, the Telarc is still available. I only
have their Telarc Middle Quartets, and enjoy their full sound and
aggressive bowing, but they tend to lose their sense of rhythm in a
lot of places.
Like where? Just interested.

Lena
Kevin N
2011-02-16 18:07:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevin N
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
The RCA or Telarc series? AFAIK, the Telarc is still available. I only
have their Telarc Middle Quartets, and enjoy their full sound and
aggressive bowing, but they tend to lose their sense of rhythm in a
lot of places.
Like where?  Just interested.
Lena
It has been a few years since I last listened, but in the e minor
Rasumovsky, they seem to slog through the 16th notes in the first
movement; the ending of the last movement sounds like they're running
out of steam. In the Harp Quartet, the big chords in the 1st movement
intro sound like they're not quite all together.
Lena
2011-02-20 13:40:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Kevin N
Post by mandryka
I only
have their Telarc Middle Quartets, and enjoy their full sound and
aggressive bowing, but they tend to lose their sense of rhythm in a
lot of places.
Like where?   [...]
It has been a few years since I last listened, but in the e minor
Rasumovsky, they seem to slog through the 16th notes in the first
movement; the ending of the last movement sounds like they're running
out of steam. [...]
But this has nothing to do with the quartet "losing its sense of
rhythm in a lot of places": these are your subjective feelings about
pace and expression (in a limited number of places).

Actually, it will be difficult to back up your original claim
objectively: there's nothing particularly wrong "in a lot of places"
with the Cleveland Qt.'s "sense of rhythm". (If anything, some people
feel there's too much of it..., ergo occasional accusations of
plodding, "slogging," etc.)

Anyway, perceived problems can go directly to the taste category,
where they belong.

Lena

PS. My original question was asked in reasonably good faith; I was
curious about the subjective take that would prompt such an evaluation
of a quartet that's technically pretty solid.

In the meanwhile, I happened on the Prokofiev 'ridle' solved -thread.
Dismaying. I'm trying to not have this affect my answer, but it may
still do that.
Kevin N
2011-02-22 17:22:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lena
Post by Kevin N
Post by mandryka
I only
have their Telarc Middle Quartets, and enjoy their full sound and
aggressive bowing, but they tend to lose their sense of rhythm in a
lot of places.
Like where?   [...]
It has been a few years since I last listened, but in the e minor
Rasumovsky, they seem to slog through the 16th notes in the first
movement; the ending of the last movement sounds like they're running
out of steam. [...]
But this has nothing to do with the quartet "losing its sense of
rhythm in a lot of places": these are your subjective feelings about
pace and expression (in a limited number of places).
Actually, it will be difficult to back up your original claim
objectively: there's nothing particularly wrong "in a lot of places"
with the Cleveland Qt.'s "sense of rhythm". (If anything, some people
feel there's too much of it..., ergo occasional accusations of
plodding, "slogging," etc.)
Anyway, perceived problems can go directly to the taste category,
where they belong.
Lena
PS. My original question was asked in reasonably good faith; I was
curious about the subjective take that would prompt such an evaluation
of a quartet that's technically pretty solid.
There's no reason to doubt that. I think quite often subjective
impressions get passed off as technical defects in a performance in
one way or another here, and being challenged it is always beneficial
- both because it forces the person making such a call to really think
through and give some specific details of a performance and that the
answers provide interesting insights for others.

FWIW I did see the Cleveland Qt perform a number of the Beethoven
quartets live. That was before I was familiar with much of the music,
so I only have a vague subjective impression to report. They seemed
pretty deadpan as performers, though quite impressive technically,
other the violist at the time (Atar Arad) whose left hand looked
cramped and awkward.
Post by Lena
In the meanwhile, I happened on the Prokofiev 'ridle' solved -thread.
Dismaying.  I'm trying to not have this affect my answer, but it may
still do that.
Lena
2011-02-22 19:04:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
[...]
Post by Kevin N
FWIW I did see the Cleveland Qt perform a number of the Beethoven
quartets live. That was before I was familiar with much of the music,
so I only have a vague subjective impression to report. They seemed
pretty deadpan as performers, though quite impressive technically,
other the violist at the time (Atar Arad) whose left hand looked
cramped and awkward.
Thanks for the note Please continue giving your impressions,. about
CDs and live performances. (I know this is supposed to be for
'recordings' talk, but it's interesting to hear other people's
thoughts about live performances... and concert reports from the past
are no exception.)

Lena
Terry
2011-02-12 15:32:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
I have always liked the Alban Berg Quartet and the Italian Quartet. I heard
the Lindsays a few weeks ago, and I'm tempted to buy their set too.
--
Cheers, Terry
Bob Harper
2011-02-12 18:09:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Terry
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
I have always liked the Alban Berg Quartet and the Italian Quartet. I heard
the Lindsays a few weeks ago, and I'm tempted to buy their set too.
Now's the time. MDT has the first (and I think better) set cheap.

Bob Harper
Terry
2011-02-13 00:00:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Terry
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
I have always liked the Alban Berg Quartet and the Italian Quartet. I heard
the Lindsays a few weeks ago, and I'm tempted to buy their set too.
Now's the time. MDT has the first (and I think better) set cheap.
Bob Harper
Done! Thanks.
--
Cheers, Terry
Ray Hall
2011-02-13 00:45:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Terry
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Terry
Post by Dufus
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets?
Cleveland Quartet. But then again , it's the only recording I have of
the late quartets.
I have always liked the Alban Berg Quartet and the Italian Quartet. I heard
the Lindsays a few weeks ago, and I'm tempted to buy their set too.
Now's the time. MDT has the first (and I think better) set cheap.
Bob Harper
Done! Thanks.
More satisfying imho, for depth, than Takacs, Alban Berg and possibly
the Quartetto Italiano, out of the 4 sets I have, despite their
'so-called' technical deficiencies.

Ray Hall, Taree
Oscar
2011-02-13 04:55:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Can anyone here give an opinion of the Fine Arts Quartet's 1969 set,
reissued on Everest 3CD via Sony Music (1996)? I have a copy on hold
at a local store. Thanks.
jrsnfld
2011-02-11 19:22:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's late
string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen, Tokyo, Budapest
(2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer, Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig,
Smetana, other Quartet?
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_String_Quartets_(Beethoven)>
Dennis
I love the later Denon Smetana Q recording. Nothing against the
earlier Supraphons, but I've spent more time with the later set.

However, the Hollywood, Juilliard (again, I've spent more time with
their 1960s set now on Sony), the Lener,and the Taneyevs are also held
dear. The Yale Q used to seem like a strong contender, but I haven't
heard them in ages. I wish I had the Bartok Q too, since I like them
in the early and middle quartets. There are also oodles of broadcasts
to cherish, from the Auryn, Ebene, Takacs, Leipzig, Artemis, ABQ, and
others.

Now, to describe the differences...that's the useful thing, and I'm
not up to the task at the moment.

--Jeff
EM
2011-02-11 19:35:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by jrsnfld
There are also oodles of broadcasts
to cherish, from the Auryn, Ebene, Takacs, Leipzig, Artemis, ABQ, and
others.
Plus Op. 130 by the Quatuor Mosaïques ("HIP"), but not on CD.

EM
Alan Cooper
2011-02-11 21:07:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by jrsnfld
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's
late string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen,
Tokyo, Budapest (2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer,
Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig, Smetana, other Quartet?
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_String_Quartets_(Beethoven)>
Dennis
I love the later Denon Smetana Q recording. Nothing against the
earlier Supraphons, but I've spent more time with the later set.
However, the Hollywood, Juilliard (again, I've spent more time
with their 1960s set now on Sony), the Lener,and the Taneyevs
are also held dear. The Yale Q used to seem like a strong
contender, but I haven't heard them in ages. I wish I had the
Bartok Q too, since I like them in the early and middle
quartets. There are also oodles of broadcasts to cherish, from
the Auryn, Ebene, Takacs, Leipzig, Artemis, ABQ, and others.
Now, to describe the differences...that's the useful thing, and
I'm not up to the task at the moment.
Nor am I, although that's a fine batch of recommendations right there: Busch,
Smetana (I prefer the earlier ones), Hollywood, Yale, '60s Juilliard, and Talich
have figured prominently in my listening for many years. Also the Hungarian
monos, the Vlach/Janacek radio broadcasts and the Tatrai Telefunkens
(frustratingly unreissued). Perhaps my favorite set of all is the collection of
live Budapest LC performances on Bridge, which includes the best Grosse Fuge I
know among other delights.

I rotate different sets on and off my ipod, and lately have been listening to
Tokyo Quartet/RCA. Beautiful playing and exquisite ensemble, if anything too
suave. Definitely worth hearing, although the Grosse Fuge doesn't work at all
with its rough edges sanded smooth in this way.

AC
jrsnfld
2011-02-11 23:46:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by jrsnfld
Post by Dennis
What are currently your favourite recordings of Beethoven's
late string quartets? Vegh (2x), Talich, Tacacs, Petersen,
Tokyo, Budapest (2x?), Alban Berg (2x), Hollywood, Vermeer,
Suske, Guarneri, Leipzig, Smetana, other Quartet?
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_String_Quartets_(Beethoven)>
Dennis
I love the later Denon Smetana Q recording. Nothing against the
earlier Supraphons, but I've spent more time with the later set.
However, the Hollywood, Juilliard (again, I've spent more time
with their 1960s set now on Sony), the Lener,and the Taneyevs
are also held dear. The Yale Q used to seem like a strong
contender, but I haven't heard them in ages. I wish I had the
Bartok Q too, since I like them in the early and middle
quartets. There are also oodles of broadcasts to cherish, from
the Auryn, Ebene, Takacs, Leipzig, Artemis, ABQ, and others.
Now, to describe the differences...that's the useful thing, and
I'm not up to the task at the moment.
Nor am I, although that's a fine batch of recommendations right there: Busch,
Smetana (I prefer the earlier ones), Hollywood, Yale, '60s Juilliard, and Talich
have figured prominently in my listening for many years.  Also the Hungarian
monos, the Vlach/Janacek radio broadcasts and the Tatrai Telefunkens
(frustratingly unreissued).  Perhaps my favorite set of all is the collection of
live Budapest LC performances on Bridge, which includes the best Grosse Fuge I
know among other delights.
Doh! I knew I was forgetting something obvious: yes, the Budapest live
from the LoC is a great set. And the Busch are a "must hear" too...I
must do that again soon. I haven't all the Vlach radio broadcasts, but
the ones I have on Praga are great. And the Telefunken Tatrai Op. 74
is staring at me from across the room--I still haven't heard any more
of theirs. There really are so many wonderful recordings of these
works.
Post by Alan Cooper
I rotate different sets on and off my ipod, and lately have been listening to
Tokyo Quartet/RCA.  Beautiful playing and exquisite ensemble, if anything too
suave.  Definitely worth hearing, although the Grosse Fuge doesn't work at all
with its rough edges sanded smooth in this way.
Yes, the Tokyo is ultimately too suave for me, but I keep it for the
beauty and for fond memories of their live cycle over the years that I
was privileged to hear--a rite of devotion to Beethoven it was. Those
were the most polished quartet concerts I've ever heard in person, but
sadly I have heard few of the new, great ensembles in person, so I'm
hardly an expert on the current standards.

--Jeff
Alan Cooper
2011-02-12 03:47:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by jrsnfld
Yes, the Tokyo is ultimately too suave for me, but I keep it for
the beauty and for fond memories of their live cycle over the
years that I was privileged to hear--a rite of devotion to
Beethoven it was. Those were the most polished quartet concerts
I've ever heard in person, but sadly I have heard few of the
new, great ensembles in person, so I'm hardly an expert on the
current standards.
My wife and I were privileged to hear the Tokyo many times over the years,
going back to their earliest NY concert appearances. They were always fabulous
in concert, perhaps most memorably (for us) in a multi-concert Brahms series in
Toronto more than 25 years ago. The quartet was augmented by outstanding
Canadian guest artists as necessary. It's a shame that the Tokyo's
extraordinary debut LP (Haydn 76/1 + Brahms 51/2) seems never to have made it
to CD. My copy is the worse for wear, I'm afraid, but it's a valuable memento
of the group's brilliant live performances of the time.

AC
jrsnfld
2011-02-12 05:58:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by jrsnfld
Yes, the Tokyo is ultimately too suave for me, but I keep it for
the beauty and for fond memories of their live cycle over the
years that I was privileged to hear--a rite of devotion to
Beethoven it was. Those were the most polished quartet concerts
I've ever heard in person, but sadly I have heard few of the
new, great ensembles in person, so I'm hardly an expert on the
current standards.
My wife and I were privileged to hear the Tokyo many times over the years,
going back to their earliest NY concert appearances.  They were always fabulous
in concert, perhaps most memorably (for us) in a multi-concert Brahms series in
Toronto more than 25 years ago.  The quartet was augmented by outstanding
Canadian guest artists as necessary.  It's a shame that the Tokyo's
extraordinary debut LP (Haydn 76/1 + Brahms 51/2) seems never to have made it
to CD.  My copy is the worse for wear, I'm afraid, but it's a valuable memento
of the group's brilliant live performances of the time.
AC
It's an LP to play on "special occasions", as the other thread puts
it.

--Jeff
Frank Lekens
2011-02-12 22:29:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by jrsnfld
Yes, the Tokyo is ultimately too suave for me, but I keep it for
the beauty and for fond memories of their live cycle over the
years that I was privileged to hear--a rite of devotion to
Beethoven it was. Those were the most polished quartet concerts
I've ever heard in person, but sadly I have heard few of the
new, great ensembles in person, so I'm hardly an expert on the
current standards.
My wife and I were privileged to hear the Tokyo many times over the years,
going back to their earliest NY concert appearances. They were always fabulous
in concert, perhaps most memorably (for us) in a multi-concert Brahms series in
Toronto more than 25 years ago. The quartet was augmented by outstanding
Canadian guest artists as necessary. It's a shame that the Tokyo's
extraordinary debut LP (Haydn 76/1 + Brahms 51/2) seems never to have made it
to CD. My copy is the worse for wear, I'm afraid, but it's a valuable memento
of the group's brilliant live performances of the time.
AC
No fans of the Emerson Quartet's set on DG here?

(Just curious. It was so cheap I couldn't resist buying it, but haven't
listened to it yet.)
--
Frank Lekens

www.xs4all.nl/~fmlekens
Miguel Montfort
2011-02-12 22:38:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Frank Lekens
No fans of the Emerson Quartet's set on DG here?
Here! Their op. 131 is absolutely enthralling.
I hasten to add I do like the whole set very
much – along with some other traversals.

Miguel Montfort
jrsnfld
2011-02-13 05:07:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Feb 12, 2:29 pm, Frank Lekens
Post by Frank Lekens
Post by Alan Cooper
Post by jrsnfld
Yes, the Tokyo is ultimately too suave for me, but I keep it for
the beauty and for fond memories of their live cycle over the
years that I was privileged to hear--a rite of devotion to
Beethoven it was. Those were the most polished quartet concerts
I've ever heard in person, but sadly I have heard few of the
new, great ensembles in person, so I'm hardly an expert on the
current standards.
My wife and I were privileged to hear the Tokyo many times over the years,
going back to their earliest NY concert appearances.  They were always fabulous
in concert, perhaps most memorably (for us) in a multi-concert Brahms series in
Toronto more than 25 years ago.  The quartet was augmented by outstanding
Canadian guest artists as necessary.  It's a shame that the Tokyo's
extraordinary debut LP (Haydn 76/1 + Brahms 51/2) seems never to have made it
to CD.  My copy is the worse for wear, I'm afraid, but it's a valuable memento
of the group's brilliant live performances of the time.
AC
No fans of the Emerson Quartet's set on DG here?
(Just curious. It was so cheap I couldn't resist buying it, but haven't
listened to it yet.)
--
Frank Lekens
               www.xs4all.nl/~fmlekens
I purposely left the Emersons off my lists, so I should comment: I
heard them give an enthralling survey of the Beethoven quartets over
the years, coupled I think with Shostakovich on the same programs.
They are an incredible group and they sound like they know Beethoven
inside out, including on their CDs. Those were great concerts, but
maybe now I'm glad I don't live with that Beethoven at home.

So what's my objection? I guess I equate them a bit with recordings
like Karajan's Strauss, Solti's Wagner, and Toscanini's Beethoven (you
could insert a lot else, but I'm generalizing very broadly here about
each of these). These are fantastic documents all, and I do like them
plenty--maybe more than most people--but I also sense my reaction is
often more like, "Holy Cow, you can make an orchestra do *that*!?"
than anything else.

So the Emersons Beethoven--and I just listened to their 59:1 a bit
today for fun--is a lot like that: "Holy Cow! You can make a string
quartet do *that*!?" Fascinating to the ears, total control, vigorous
sensual excitement. It's a great aesthetic experience, but it's not,
in my soul of souls, about Beethoven.

There's wit, but not really charm, not really a feeling of an
experience that takes you from one state of being to another. Instead,
bring a double espresso and be amazed, over and over, but end up just
as wired as you were before you started listening.

I can see why this is a favorite for some people. Nothing wrong with
that.

--Jeff
Bob Harper
2011-02-13 05:55:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On 2/12/11 9:07 PM, jrsnfld wrote:
(snip)
Post by jrsnfld
I purposely left the Emersons off my lists, so I should comment: I
heard them give an enthralling survey of the Beethoven quartets over
the years, coupled I think with Shostakovich on the same programs.
They are an incredible group and they sound like they know Beethoven
inside out, including on their CDs. Those were great concerts, but
maybe now I'm glad I don't live with that Beethoven at home.
So what's my objection? I guess I equate them a bit with recordings
like Karajan's Strauss, Solti's Wagner, and Toscanini's Beethoven (you
could insert a lot else, but I'm generalizing very broadly here about
each of these). These are fantastic documents all, and I do like them
plenty--maybe more than most people--but I also sense my reaction is
often more like, "Holy Cow, you can make an orchestra do *that*!?"
than anything else.
So the Emersons Beethoven--and I just listened to their 59:1 a bit
today for fun--is a lot like that: "Holy Cow! You can make a string
quartet do *that*!?" Fascinating to the ears, total control, vigorous
sensual excitement. It's a great aesthetic experience, but it's not,
in my soul of souls, about Beethoven.
That's exactly my objection to the Emersons in general. The playing is
absolutely unimpeachable, but in the end it all too frequently isn't
*about* anything. That said, I believe they *can* do it. One of the
greatest performances of anything I ever heard was their Op. 59/3 at
Chamber Music NW some years ago. It closed the first half of the
concert, and at its conclusion the audience positively erupted, and was
right to do so. That performance had it all. After intermission came Op.
131. Perfectly played, but little soul. Too bad.

Bob Harper
Post by jrsnfld
There's wit, but not really charm, not really a feeling of an
experience that takes you from one state of being to another. Instead,
bring a double espresso and be amazed, over and over, but end up just
as wired as you were before you started listening.
I can see why this is a favorite for some people. Nothing wrong with
that.
--Jeff
Matthew B. Tepper
2011-02-13 18:50:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
jrsnfld <***@aol.com> appears to have caused the following letters to be
typed in news:73915e48-6c5c-4d41-a627-94ea73bb8cb4
So what's my objection? I guess I equate them a bit with recordings like
Karajan's Strauss, Solti's Wagner, and Toscanini's Beethoven (you could
insert a lot else, but I'm generalizing very broadly here about each of
these). These are fantastic documents all, and I do like them plenty--
maybe more than most people--but I also sense my reaction is often more
like, "Holy Cow, you can make an orchestra do *that*!?" than anything
else.
I wish I could remember more than one line of a review I read many years ago:
"Sometimes the orchestra stands on its head just for the hell of it."
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
Read about "Proty" here: http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/proty.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
Steve Emerson
2011-02-12 05:32:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Alan Cooper
Nor am I, although that's a fine batch of recommendations right
there: Busch, Smetana (I prefer the earlier ones), Hollywood, Yale,
'60s Juilliard, and Talich have figured prominently in my listening
for many years. Also the Hungarian monos, the Vlach/Janacek radio
broadcasts
Just to say -- studio recordings by the Vlach and Janacek as well. The
magnificent (reissued) Op 131 by the Vlach, and the ditto Op 135
(unreissued) by the Janacek.

SE.
Post by Alan Cooper
and the Tatrai Telefunkens (frustratingly unreissued).
Perhaps my favorite set of all is the collection of live Budapest LC
performances on Bridge, which includes the best Grosse Fuge I know
among other delights.
Matthew B. Tepper
2011-02-11 23:27:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I've got Hollywood, Juilliard, Italiano, and Talich. I'm thinking of getting
the Budapest's stereo intégrale just issued in a Sony box, just because I got
to know Op. 131 from that recording and from the Fine Arts.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
Read about "Proty" here: http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/proty.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
EM
2011-02-12 13:58:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I've got (...) Talich.
With Op. 133 on the wrong CD?

EM
Matthew B. Tepper
2011-02-12 18:21:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by EM
I've got (...) Talich.
With Op. 133 on the wrong CD?
'Fraid so, but excellent even still.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
Read about "Proty" here: http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/proty.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of my employers
Loading...